Our guest writer today is Doug Rozelman. He is a co-worker of mine and an avid cyclist. Slo
wly he is trying to learn to use his bike for daily task, and to live the cycling lifestyle. Read his first post Why I Go By Bike for good background on his commuting.
As irony would have it, severe winter weather strikes the Southeast on Day Two of my biking commitment. To recap Day One’s activities, I enjoyed a pleasurable ride to work and back home; everything went according to plan. The weather was cool and cooperative with little wind and no precipitation. Though my journey home was dark, I was equipped with a headlight and graced by a tailwind, so the uphill venture was fast and easy. I even managed to put my messenger skills to the test when I stopped by my apartment’s mailbox unit and picked up the day’s haul. I anxiously embarked on Day Two with uncertainty of what the forecast would bring.
According to weather.com, I was expecting a windy day with periods of rain, snow, and even some sleet in the mix. Temperatures were to remain steady in the mid 30s with winds at nearly 20-30 mph. Planning on wearing a pair of jeans and my shop’s t-shirt to work, I donned a pair of Pearl Izumi wind and waterproof shell pants over the jeans accompanied by a Gore Phantom Jacket. Accessories included a Trek Brimmed Thermal Cap beneath a Bell Sweep R helmet and Pearl Izumi Soft Shell Gloves. I comfortably arrived at work shortly thereafter. However, by the time I took off my jacket, I could hear the sleet bouncing on the roof. I have always taken weather forecasts at face value, but today’s prediction was right on the mark. Due to the inclement weather, we closed our store an hour early at 6:00 pm. Cold, wet and rainy weather rarely boosts sales in a bike shop, so during the day, I had plenty of time to install some quick-release Bontrager Interchange Nebula fenders.
Prior to my departure, I checked the weather once again. The temperature was hovering around freezing, and there were definitely freezing rain and moderate winds. Although tempted to accept one of several coworkers’ offers to drive me home, I sought after the challenge. Pants, jacket, hat, and gloves were all replaced, and with rear blinking lights in flash and a Light and Motion Seca 400on high beam, I began my ride home. Surprisingly, the trek was not that bad; once I arrived home safely, I contemplated patting myself on the back for not succumbing to the gas-guzzler.
Reflecting upon this experience, I am curious to know how others would handle this situation. I pose the following question: What rain gear and gadgets do you, the veteran commuters, use for inclement weather?